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A War We Might Just Win

Some are noting positive changes in Iraq.

Viewed from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration's critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily 'victory' but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

...Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

As Glenn Reynolds says, "It's in the New York Times, so it must be true."


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Comments (43)

Talk about left-handed comp... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Talk about left-handed compliments. Whatever we accomplish in Iraq, the credit belongs to the Bush administration (and our brave troops of course.) The left has carped about failure and the "un-winnable war" from start to finish. They deserve nothing but contempt.

It's an Op-ed Contributor p... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

It's an Op-ed Contributor piece, not a New York Times story, column, or editorial.

Lee, can you point me to wh... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Lee, can you point me to where she said it was???

I didn't think so.

If Lee had a brain -which h... (Below threshold)
Paul:

If Lee had a brain -which he doesn't- he would have mentioned that Michael E. O'Hanlon has a rather spotty record on Iraq.

O'Hanlon's a righty but has been whining about Bush's [tactical] handling of war since before it started. He was also highly critical of the efficacy of air power against Saddam's Republican Guard which proved to be misguided on his part.

Now, he makes more proclamations about Iraq when he has proven he's not exactly a scholar on the topic.

Granted -he just spend 8 days there- which probably helped a bunch but still, if Lee had a brain, he would have gone after the author rather than make an ass out of himself. Again.

It is in the New York Times... (Below threshold)
kim:

It is in the New York Times, printed by Timesmen, approved by Times editors. Is it because its content isn't what Lee has come to expect from the New York Times that Lee rejects its New York Timesiness?
==========================

Does it really matter what ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Does it really matter what Lee and his ilk think? ww

Well, all I know is, let's ... (Below threshold)

Well, all I know is, let's don't make an effort unless victory is the guaranteed outcome. I mean, come on people, what's more humiliating, a loss in a head to head fight, or a loss as prescribed by a well thought out surrender by our rulers in congress ?

Bottom line: Congress has already determined that the war is lost. There is simply too much to risk by winning this thing. Think of the explanations and double talking and reversals of opinion that would have to occur so as to take credit for the work of the American fighting man. No, it would be much simpler and of greater efficiency to accept defeat and get out before the genocide begins, Lord knows we don't want to be a part of that kind of thing.

"Everywhere, Army and Marin... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services -- electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation"

Electricity? Didn't the Ambassador to Iraq report just last week that Bagdad was down to 1 to 2 hours of electricity a day?

Then there is this from the BBC:

Nearly a third of the population of Iraq is in need of immediate emergency aid, according to a new report from Oxfam and a coalition of Iraqi NGOs.

The report said the government was failing to provide basics such as food and shelter for eight million people.

It warned of a humanitarian crisis that had escalated since the 2003 invasion.

Hey but things are going great in Iraq, just ask a member of parliament. O-thats right, they are all gone on holiday.

"Lee, can you point me t... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

"Lee, can you point me to where she said it was???"

Can you point me to where I said she did?

Rush Limpbaugh is describing this as a "media report" and a "New York Times piece" that supports staying in Iraq.

It is neither, it is a contributor op-ed column by O'Hanlon and Pollack. Its just their opinion.

Lorie wrote: "As Glenn Reynolds says, "It's in the New York Times, so it must be true."

False. It's a contributor op-ed -- one step up from a "letter to the Editor" - and the fact that it is in the New York Times doesn't mean "it must be true."

The dishonesty of the right wing media is worsening as time goes on --- that's a damned shame.

Actually, Lee is right in t... (Below threshold)

Actually, Lee is right in that it is an Op/Ed piece. I don't think that negates its value, but it isn't something the opinion of the NY Times editorial board.

Somewhat related: Drudge linked to an article in London's Evening Standard where the captain of the Iraqi Soccer/Football team, Younis Mahmood, claimed:

"I want America to go out," he said. "Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow,but out. I wish the American people didn't invade Iraq and hopefully it will be over soon."
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23406188-details/If+I+go+back+to+Iraq+anybody+could+kill+me%2C+says+hero+football+captain/article.do

Indeed, it was so much better back in the day when Uday HUssein ran Iraqi Football and would have thrown you in an Iron Maiden if you lost a major match. Those were the good old days, weren't they, Younis?

"... and the fact that it i... (Below threshold)
yo:

"... and the fact that it is in the New York Times doesn't mean "it must be true."

The only rational bit of your comment, Lee.


I guess the fact that both of the contributors works for the Brookings Institute doesn't mean squat? You've heard of them .. the liberal leaning Brookings Institute, right?

Might be worth a read if a liberal organization has a few positive words, eh?

The fact that someone at the Times thought this op-ed contribution was worthy of print escapes you as well?

You're right, the authors aren't on the NYT payroll, but that's about where your argument peters out.

What's a damned shame, honestly, is how narrow your vision is, as well as your overt desire to see the US fail just so you can pat yourself on the back and tell yourself how closely you've followed the DNC talking points.

With friends like you, champ ...

It is truly incredible how ... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

It is truly incredible how much the libs want us to fail in Iraq. Anything even hinting of progress and lee and barney are out in full swing, "nuh-uh!" Really pathetic. And really scary.

yo wrote: Lee wrote "...... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

yo wrote: Lee wrote "... and the fact that it is in the New York Times doesn't mean "it must be true."

The only rational bit of your comment, Lee"

Langtry wrote: "Actually, Lee is right in that it is an Op/Ed piece. I don't think that negates its value, but it isn't something the opinion of the NY Times editorial board."

And where is the comment they're referring to? Have you noticed? It's been hidden -- look above -- Someone, Paul or Jay probably, didn't want your to see the truth.

A comment from a lefty speaks the truth and the right wing blogosphere hides it from their readers.

LIke I said -- the dishonesty of the right wing blogosphere is reaching new lows...

Editors note: Lee forgets that Jay Tea explicitly stated that his comments henceforth would be unpublished. They're being post moderated.

And where is the c... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:
And where is the comment they're referring to? Have you noticed? It's been hidden -- look above -- Someone, Paul or Jay probably, didn't want your to see the truth.

ROFL. LeeWard, you're an idiot... scratch that, you're a paranoid idiot. Still haven't figured out how the whole comment voting thing works yet, eh ?

Yo wrote: The fact that ... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

Yo wrote: The fact that someone at the Times thought this op-ed contribution was worthy of print escapes you as well?"

The fact that NY Times printed an opposing viewpoint has apparently escaped the wrong wing bloggers who continue to paint them as being biased, etc.

"You're right, the authors aren't on the NYT payroll, but that's about where your argument peters out."

That was the only argument I made -- that the wrong wing bloggers are painting this as some sort of signal from above -- Rush Limpbaugh stating on his radio show today that the "media" is now supporting the war, and that this "NY Times report" suggests we're winning in Iraq.

That's bullshit. This is just a Contributor Op-ed column written by O'Hanlon and Pollack - Lorie wrote "As Glenn Reynolds says, "It's in the New York Times, so it must be true." It's a step above a letter to the editor. It is NOT the opinion of the New York Times. The fact that the Times printed it does not make it "true".

Lee,I guess you've n... (Below threshold)
yo:

Lee,
I guess you've never been to the comments section of any lefty site. Right wing posts are like sasquatch, over there. Hell, John Kerry's site deleted anything that mentioned he's .. ahem .. "career" in anything less than a positive light, and then argued that those comments were removed because they weren't appropriate to the discussion of Kerry's credentials to be commander-in-chief.

Or, rather ... trot on over the PuffHo and tell me what in the f*** happened to free speech over there.

That being said ..., no comment on the authors being from the Brookings Institute, or is it just easier for you to hide from that item behind your wails of censorship?

Again, man .. sometimes you make excellent points, and some times ... you're just off your nut. Either lower the dose, or increase it. Either way, you need some stability in your life.

Posted by yo | July 30, 200... (Below threshold)
yo:

Posted by yo | July 30, 2007 3:29 PM

I can only imagine you sitting at your keyboard, typing feverishly, smile on your face thinking that "wrong wing" might be considered "cute" and "biting" to some.

It would, of course, if "some" = 3rd graders.

Anyway, I don't think anyone is really seeing this as word from above, simply that we're all a bit surprised that anyone on the NYT editorial board would allow anything that cast even the the tiniest sliver of positive light on our efforts in Iraq to be printed at all.

I don't see Rush posting, or commenting on this site, so feel free to continue screaming into your personal echo chamber on that, thinking you've got a point - cuz .. ya' don't.

Overall, man ... you're just being a tool.

by the by, Bill Walsh died.

"That being said ..., no... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

"That being said ..., no comment on the authors being from the Brookings Institute, or is it just easier for you to hide from that item behind your wails of censorship?"

DIfferent subject, yo. I'm sorry - I know you hang on my every word -- but I haven't researched the authors background - so I don't have an opinion on it one way or the other. Sorry...

<a href="http://www.salon.c... (Below threshold)
jp2:
pwnt? pwnt? ... Did you say... (Below threshold)
Paul:

pwnt? pwnt? ... Did you say pwnt?

What a freaking moron. As I noted above, O'Hanlon has been all over the map on Iraq.... He said before the far that air power could not defeat Saddam's troops in a desert.

AT THE HIGHT OF THE WAR he called Rumsfeld a liar on the number of targets U.S. fighters hit. He ate those words like they where crow.

His back tracking and writing a glowing piece about Rumsfeld war plan was a Mea Culpa when he made an ass out of himself.

Stop and think for a second... Everyone said the Republican Guard would fight like hell and the war (active war) could last years. The "war" WILL INDEED be taught in war colleges for years. It was brilliant. -- It was the "after war" that has sucked.

Greeward took a few marginally positive comments O'Hanlon made and pretended was selling the war from day one. It's bullshit.

BUT it does prove one thing... They are both full of shit but when looking for a talking point, it shows Greenwald is at least smarter than Lee. (heh- I insulted both of them)

He found a soft target.

Ken Pollack, in a Situation... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Ken Pollack, in a Situation Room interview w/ Wolf Blitzer just stated that the article that Lorie referenced was not titled as such by him or his colleague, but rather, by the NYT. He said that the title was not what the 2 authors would have chosen. Pollack also said that he would be "guardedly optimistic" by what he saw in Iraq.

Lorie, once again, is leaping before looking.

FreedomFRIED:L... (Below threshold)
marc:

FreedomFRIED:

Lorie, once again, is leaping before looking

How so? Are you assuming she has the mental powers of the Amazing Kreskin and KNEW the headline wasn't what the author intended and disregarded that "fact?"

BTW, why did you scamper away from the "In Sickness in Hell" thread?

Embarrassed? (not likely you have no shame)

Embarrassed, marc? By a sl... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

Embarrassed, marc? By a slug? Not at all you arrogant BW. I don't expect that Lorie should be prescient. One might expect that, after numerous "egg on her face" posts, she might ponder for a moment rather than race to trumpet some shred of her wishful thinking that she thinks she can use to rationalize her positions.

And Asswipe, if you think what you referenced on the other thread backs the absurd claim that "tens of thousands" died in French hospitals, you are f**king nuts. Typically, you use a misread of a comment or you distort a comment to suit your purposes and then crow like you think you've shat the golden turd. You are, most of the time, merely a pompous, bleating ASS.

Lies by already discredited... (Below threshold)
Ken Hoop:

Lies by already discredited empire-protectors, Israel-firsters and Likudniks in particular, were to be expected as the last means Hail Mary
tactic of protracting as long as possible
American intervention in Iraq.

www.noquarterusa.net

exposes a few of them, already wearisome.

(Editor's note: say buh-bye, Ken.)

That's funny because the Br... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

That's funny because the Brookings Inst. published this just four days ago, and contradicts O'Hanlon's claim that things are just rosy in Iraq. Civilian deaths have remained steady, and services just plan suck, Not to mention there has ben no political process, and guess who wrote it? That's right Michael O'Hanlon.

http://www3.brookings.edu/fp/saban/iraq/index.pdf

heh- Barney just proved Gre... (Below threshold)
Paul:

heh- Barney just proved Greenwald to be a liar.

If nothing else, the Times ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

If nothing else, the Times piece now has the left fighting against itself.

I love it when Barney takes up arms against someone like Greenwald. It shows that the left is well on its way to self-destructing.

"heh- Barney just proved Gr... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"heh- Barney just proved Greenwald to be a liar."

How did I do that Paul? Greenwald was pointing out how O'Hanlon has changed his story back and forth and back again and can't be trusted.
Here is a quip from Greenwald's post:
"But let us look at Michael O'Hanlon, and review just a fraction of the endless string of false and misleading statements he made about Iraq and ask why anyone would possibly listen to him about anything, let alone consider him an "expert" of any kind:..."

O'Hanlon's own report contradicts his Op/Ed.

BarneyI wonder when ... (Below threshold)

Barney
I wonder when O"Hanlon wrote that piece for TBI? Before he went to Iraq?

FrenchFry...enough with scatological garbage. Do you think Pollack is the first writer to have his work Headlined in a way he didn't like? Or do you think it was because he was back in the mothership and facing some criticism from a comrad. Or both?

There is another dynamic at work here that no one has brought up: The NYT is in crisis.

http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/charts/chartdl.aspx?C6=2007&PeriodType=8&D3=0&CP=0&PT=8&CE=0&&ShowChtBt=Refresh+Chart&DateRangeForm=1&C7=7&ComparisonsForm=1&D4=1&ViewType=0&C5=7&Symbol=NYT&C8=2007&D5=0&C9=2&DisplayForm=1

Pinch may finally be feeling the heat now that all know that even the revered WSJ is no longer protected from Vader..., oops, I mean Murdoch.

freedomFRIED:E... (Below threshold)
marc:

freedomFRIED:

Embarrassed, marc? By a slug? Not at all you arrogant BW. I don't expect that Lorie should be prescient. One might expect that, after numerous "egg on her face" posts, she might ponder for a moment rather than race to trumpet some shred of her wishful thinking that she thinks she can use to rationalize her positions.

Sorry asshat your complaint here was how Lori titled her post. A function she can do at will regardless of how the NYT writes theirs.

Secondly you call her out for allegedly misrepresenting something based on a TV interview by the author of the NYT article that was "just stated", to use your words.

So yes, you apparently think she should have some other worldly power to know the author complained about the headline AFTER she published this post.

As for the other thread, you specifically responded to someones allegation thousands died in France with:

"Prove that absurd allegation from anywhere apart from the wingnut blogosphere. We dfon't need another phoney allegation from a misquote like..."

You were given the links and NOT from the "wingnut blogosphere"

Thousands DID DIE, and many are attributed directly to the system in France.

"I wonder when O"Hanlon wro... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"I wonder when O"Hanlon wrote that piece for TBI? Before he went to Iraq?"

hughs, why don't you read what I posted or spend the 2-seconds to see his report is dated 7/26/07.

marc, you got it wrong agai... (Below threshold)
FreedomFries:

marc, you got it wrong again. My comment had nothing to do with Lorie's title but rather the title from the NYT which one of the authors of the article regretted as the chosen title and which he said that he'd have never used for his Op-Ed had it been his choice.

Presumably Lorie picked it up as her title because she is always bending over backwards to snatch the most microscopic bit of hope for Bush's war from the morass he made of Iraq.

Pollack described himself as "very guardedly optimistic."

The main point is that an article like this will become the wingnut chest-thumping cry for just 6 months more and the result will be that there will again be that many fewer troops for you troop-lovers to support w/ the next extension that for which you will wail after the last.

FreedomFries <... (Below threshold)

FreedomFries

which he said that he'd have never used for his Op-Ed had it been his choice.
Welcome to the world of th NYT, Columbus! Editors write headlines, not reporters or opinion writers.

Presumably Lorie picked it up as her title because she is always bending over backwards to snatch the most microscopic bit of hope for Bush's war from the morass he made of Iraq.

Why didn't you just write that line in iambic tetrameter, you man you? The main point of this article (heads up, it's not an article, it's an opinion piece, Einstein)is that it interrupts your chorus line of leg raising in salute to the failure in Iraq.

What are you going to do if the surge succeeds?

FreedomFRIED:L... (Below threshold)
marc:

FreedomFRIED:

Lorie, once again, is leaping before looking.

Again, your evidence, or "proof" of that is something said by the author in a TV interview AFTER Lorie's post was published.

Asshat.

Lies by already discredi... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Lies by already discredited empire-protectors, Israel-firsters and Likudniks in particular, were to be expected as the last means Hail Mary
tactic of protracting as long as possible
American intervention in Iraq.

www.noquarterusa.net

exposes a few of them, already wearisome.


Wizbang Haiku.

Cool.

"My comment had nothing to ... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"My comment had nothing to do with Lorie's title but rather the title from the NYT which...."

Well then stink it up elsewhere maggot.

"The main point is that an article like this will become...."

It is already manifesting itself for losers like you. I hear your WAAAAA! loud and clear.

"fewer troops for you troop-lovers to support"

Hey F**khead , WE ARE CALLED AMERICANS not troop lovers you commie loving basturd.Oh my bad , your just a democrat.

Dr JohnIsrael-... (Below threshold)

Dr John
Israel-firsters and Likudniks in particular,

You might win the Oscar Wilde prize for style, but that's all you will leave with.
Anti semitic rap WILL get you an audience with Hezbollah,though.
Just curious, do you think those Hezbollah dudes respect you? I mean, your right to get DOWN with disrespect of the oppressors? Your right to get DOWN with dissin the MAN?

You remind me of the communist sympathizers who choked and couldn't come up with a response to "The Gulag Archipelago" when it was published. Or were you even born by then?

"Or were you even born by ... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"Or were you even born by then?"

Most of these nitwits aren't even old enough to be arrogant. LOL

Or were you even born by... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

Or were you even born by then?

Hugh, I didn't write that. I quoted it, and was ridiculing it. Only the last two lines were mine.

Sorry for the subtlety.

It's wise to read all the posts.

"Ken Pollack, in a Situatio... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

"Ken Pollack, in a Situation Room interview w/ Wolf Blitzer just stated that the article that Lorie referenced was not titled as such by him or his colleague, but rather, by the NYT. He said that the title was not what the 2 authors would have chosen. Pollack also said that he would be "guardedly optimistic" by what he saw in Iraq.

Lorie, once again, is leaping before looking." -- Freedom Fries

It is not exactly a secret that columnists rarely, if ever, get to choose headlines -- especially print where there is a formula that has to be followed to make sure the headline fits the space allotted properly. I just assumed everyone knew that, but it appears quite a few don't. Believe me, I know only too well. Some of the headlines chosen for things I have written have been, in my opinion, not representative of the columns I wrote. I don't see how my choice of headline, being almost the same as the one the NYT chose, is "leaping before looking." Sorry, but that is just an idiotic statement.

As for the Pollack interview, I almost never watch CNN and only saw the interview when clicking by looking for a program my kids wanted to watch. I watched a few minutes of it though and was really surprised that Pollack was as positive as he was considering his past views on Iraq. I guess Freedom Fries didn't want anyone to know or he/she would have shared more from the interview. Pollack said that judging from what he had observed, progress is being made and that since progress is being made the surge should continue and be given more time to work. He said it should be reassessed frequently, but that according to the progress that is taking place now, it should be given more time to work. He was asked about the lack of political progress being made and he said there was political progress being made at the local level, but not at the national level. He pointed to examples of local Iraqi leaders accomplishing things that so far those at the higher levels had not. I will try to find the transcript to post as an update.

Wow, such progress. And it ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

Wow, such progress. And it only took 5+ years and 3600 American lives. At this rate we should have things pretty well in hand in 30 or 40 years or so. Wait a minute, wasn't that the plan from the start? But I thought the insurgency was in its last throes a few years back! The only thing winning means at this point is the establishment of permanent military bases, a US puppet regime and access to oil. Now those are some lofty goals.

Since both the US and Iraqi governments apparently feel things are going so well over there that they can take the whole month of August off, why not give our troops a similar vacation? Let 'em stand down, draw back a bit and enjoy the same kind of R&R enjoyed by those who are telling them they need to keep fighting. And dying. Hey, nothing else has worked, so why not give it a try?

As I wipe my ass with the n... (Below threshold)
moseby:

As I wipe my ass with the ny slimes I'll make sure not to get and feces on this article...

"they can take the whole mo... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"they can take the whole month of August off, why not give our troops a similar vacation?"

i GOT A BETTER idea. Let's bring a some home so they can rid our Country of scum like you Groucho. You can tell how you feel in person , punka$$.




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